The ADL report on global anti-Semitism is getting a lot of negative reviews. A central question is, Why didn’t the Anti-Defamation League survey Israelis on their anti-Semitic beliefs when it was traveling the world to survey people in 102 countries, representing 4 billion people in the world? As David Samel asked here yesterday.
Here are two other criticisms from the web.
1) Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Israel?…
3) Do actions taken by the State of Israel influence your opinions about Jews, or do they not influence your opinions about Jews? …
4) Would you say that the actions Israel takes generally give you a better opinion of Jews or a worse opinion of Jews? This question was asked only of those who in question 3 above said the actions of Israel influence their opinions of Jews…
On question 3 — whether actions by the State of Israel influenced respondents’ opinions about Jews — 16% said “major influence,” 19% “minor,” 42% said none; and 23% volunteered that they “didn’t know.”
And on question 4, for the 35% who said Israel’s actions did influence their opinions about Jews, 25% said they had a better opinion, but 57% said their opinion of Jews was worsened by Israel’s action, while another 17% volunteered that they didn’t know how they were influenced.
Now, those are not insignificant numbers. According to the ADL, the 53,000-plus respondents represent nearly 4.2 billion people, which means the 35% who said that Israel’s actions influenced their opinions of Jews represent nearly 1.5 billion people. Fifty-seven percent of those 1.5 billion adults translates to 855 million people who, if we extrapolate from the survey’s methodology, are willing to tell pollsters outright that Israel’s actions make them see Jews in a more negative light; which is to say, make them anti-Jewish or more anti-Jewish than they already were…
it seems safe to say that Israel’s actions — at least as reported by those same mass media — do not help the cause of eliminating anti-Semitism around the world, and especially in its own neighborhood where, in fact, Israeli actions have been felt most directly.
In the same reasonable spirit of suggesting that some attitudes may be based on some Jews’ behavior, Noah Feldman at Bloomberg notes the extent to which the negative stereotypes of Jews that the ADL asked about touch on widely-held attitudes about Jews.
As the pollster makes a continuing series of anti-Semitic statements, the addressee may well have the experience of feeling increasingly reminded of whatever latent anti-Semitic beliefs he may have…
Those negative stereotypes include such statements as “Jews have too much power in the business world,” “Jews have too much power in international financial markets,” “Jews have too much control over global affairs,” “Jews think they are better than other people,” “Jews have too much control over the United States government,” and “Jews have too much control over the global media.”
At the Forward Jay Michaelson also says that he failed the test.
Why is anyone taking the Anti-Defamation League’s survey on global anti-Semitism seriously?
He states flatly that Jews have too much control over the U.S. government and that we have disproportionate influence over business and media matters, but doesn’t see that as negative.
How about too much “control over the United States government”? Here, the answer must be yes, proportionally speaking. How many U.N. resolutions does the U.S. think it can veto before, at some point, this canard becomes impossible to resist
While Feldman says that the alleged anti-Semitic belief that Jews feel more loyalty to Israel than to the country they live in might be actual fact.
If I believed that some or even most Jews would take the side of Israel in the case of a serious conflict with their own countries, would that belief help qualify me as an anti-Semite? Don’t get me wrong, it would be bad for Jews in many countries if such polls were performed. But thinking you know what they might say isn’t bias.
So Feldman and Michaelson are saying that Jews can hold alleged anti-Semitic stereotypes, which surely runs against the ADL’s perception of the problem. Feldman raises the point that Samel and Marsha Cohen have: Why didn’t the ADL survey Israelis? Wouldn’t many Jews share these beliefs?
Then there is a final, telling omission: Why didn’t the ADL poll in Israel? They did poll in the West Bank and Gaza, where they got the highest anti-Jewish result they found anywhere. Is it because no one really wants to hear how the world’s only majority Jewish population would have done on the quiz?
This isn’t a criticism, but Fareed Zakaria picked the poll up:
That was interesting what Fareed Zakaria did with that absurd ADL anti-Semitism survey.
— Scott Roth (@scottroth76) May 18, 2014
And what did he do with it?
He mentioned the report and then asked viewers what country in the Mideast was the least anti semitic.
1. Palestinian terr
Answer is Iran.
Marsha Cohen also noted that Iran is the least anti-Semitic country in the Middle East, according to the survey.